The Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) has said that troopers from 37th Infantry Battalion (37IB), under 603rd Infantry Brigade, foiled NPA members’ attempt to attack and burn heavy equipment of a construction firm undertaking a road-concreting project in Brgy. Hinalaan, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat on June 30, 2020.
“Soldiers securing the government flagship project clashed with around 30 CNTs who approached the construction site even with the presence of civilian workers,” 6ID said.
“Firefight broke-out at 2:30 p.m. while the soldiers held their ground at the project site preventing the terrorists from getting close. The latter scampered 40 minutes later to different directions after more troops arrived and maneuvered,” it added. “One soldier was slightly wounded from a shrapnel, while there could be more wounded among the terrorists based from the traces of blood found at the encounter site. Parts of M16 rifles and various ammunition were also recovered during clearing operation.”
The government forces identified the group belonging to West Daguma Front headed by Datu Gawa Gantangan and Glenn Sakudal alias Dennis from Far South Mindanao Region.
37IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Allen Van Estrerawas said the attempt was intended to pressure the construction company, JANMERC Construction, to give in to their extortion demands or protection money.
“The demands were repeatedly denied by the management. The terrorists were also disrupting the completion of the road project as it will provide easy access of government services in the geographically isolated communities in this upland barangay were NPA members try to infiltrate,” Lt. Col. Estrera said.